Broadside Declaring War on Spain
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Parliament goes to war after Robert Jenkins displays his detached ear. [GEORGE II].
Broadside, “His Majesty’s Declaration of War Against the King of Spain,”
John Bassett, printer, London, October 19, 1739, 16 x 21 in., with contemporary manuscript notes and docketing, October 23, 1739.
This document launched what was known as the War of Jenkins’s Ear, 1739 – 1748, which became a part of the larger War of Austrian Succession after three years. After being accused of piracy, Robert Jenkins, captain of a British merchant ship, had his ear cut off following the boarding of his vessel by the Spanish coastal guard in 1731. Jenkins then allegedly exhibited his severed ear in Parliament the next year. The broadside cites the predations of Spanish privateers in the West Indies as the cause of hostilities. A manuscript note reads “This Declaration of War was published in solemn form at the usual places in London on Tuesday 23d October 1739.” Seven copies are listed in the English Short Title Catalog of the British Library.
Good. Moderate wear.